Discovering A French Treasure In Randwick
I visited Montparnasse for a farewell dinner early September this year. So it's pretty obvious that this post has been long delayed. This hidden gem in Randwick was highly recommended by a friend of mine. He described the place as having a mixture of modern and classic French design, a place where Marilyn Monroe will be happy to dine in. So based on such wonderful descriptions, I immediately made a booking for 'a table for six' that week.
'Wonderful' seems like an underrated survey of this place, it's beyond wonderful for me personally. I love the place, I love the service, the food and among other things, I love the price too. I was the first one to arrive at this intimate restaurant, while my husband and friends were looking for a place to park. Sitting on an empty table with only silence accompanying me, a very thoughtful and friendly staff actually offered me a glass of complimentary champagne to start with.
Once everyone arrived, we quickly flipped through the extensive French menu. We finally settled with 3 entrees to be shared among us and a main dish for each person. We were served with complementary breads as well, but I do have to apologise because I actually forgot what exactly was it, but as far as my memory serves, it was a delicious savoury bread with toppings.
Entree 1: Brochettes Saint Jacques et Crevettes $18.00
Despite the impossible name of the dishes, we managed to make up our mind quickly with the help of a knowledgeable staff. The first entree we had was a cripsy shrimp served with avocado , orange and balsamic vinegar. This got to be the best entrees of the night, the sauce was a killer, it was sweet and tasty. What a luscious sauce to bring out the best in the shrimp.
Entree 2: Moules Gratinees a l'anis (6 pieces) $10.50
The second entree was a plate of six mussels stuffed with a farce made of pastis (an anise flavoured liqueur), garlic, parsley, cream. The mussels were crumbed and oven baked. I found the mussel oddly bitter, I guess it must have come from the liqueur. The taste of the garlic was very strong, which for me felt a little bit too 'biting' on the tounge.
Entree 3: Feuillete de Saumon $14.50
I like this entree, simply because it's served with a pastry puff. Sandwich between the French puff are salmon, melted leeks, lemon and dill sauce. It was a pleasant 'crispy on the outside and meltingly soft in the inside' moment for me.
Main 1: Cote de Boeuf $29.00
My husband and another friend had the Rib Eye Steak. With any selection from the grill, we are allowed to choose a sauce and two side dishes to complement the steak. My husband chose the green peppercorn sauce, french fries and their Gratin Douphinois (which is a thinly sliced oven baked potatoes with cream and garlic) to go with his steak. The steak came in huge serving and beautifully cooked, however in comparison to the premium beef fillet which my other friend ordered, we found this one was not as tender.
Main2: Fillet de Boeuf $30.00
The premium beef fillet was smaller in size compared to the rib eye, but without doubt it was a better quality meat...it's juicy and tender in every bite.
Main 3: Magret de Canard au Calva et Pommes Caramelisees $29.00
I love duck! especially French duck...I constantly crave for one, so whenever I see a 'duck dish' on a menu, I will most likely order it, so it's no difference this time.
This main of mine was a duck fillet, which is normally served medium to rare in France. I have no problem of having rare meat as long as it's a recommended way of serving. Of course, for those who prefer their meat cooked, I'm sure the kitchen will be more than happy to serve as you wish. Because it was mostly rare, the meat tasted slightly chewy. However, you can taste the distinguish flavour of the meat very well. The dish was served with an appetising red wine sauce, vegetable mousse and some delicious caramalised apples.
Finally, Like I always say...A meal is never complete without desserts.
We ordered a French Classic Creme Brulee, a Fondant au Chocolat Glace and a Tarte Tartin to share.
The creme Brulee ($14.50) was pretty good, it has the right texture and it's reasonably sweet.
The Fondant au Chocolat Glace ($14.50) came up to be a chocolate mousse type cake. It's your typical rich and creamy chocolate mousse cake.
Finally, the Tarte Tartin ($15.00). It was different to the normal French apple tart that I know. Over here, they placed the whole poached apple on top of a small piece of pastry, served with ice cream and a thin butter biscuit on the side. Despite the different approach, it was an enjoyable light dessert to close the meal.
Overall, I think Montparnasse is a great neighbourhood restaurant where you can find tasty French dishes without being pretentious. The service is a delight too. Overall, I was really satisfied with my experience there, although it would have been better if their dessert's serving is as generous as their mains.
The Spot in Randwick
30 St Pauls St
30 St Pauls St
Randwick NSW 2031
Ph: (02) 8084 6290